Penguins Welcome Radford to Beeghly Center on Friday

Morgan Olson and the Penguins host Radford on Friday night at Beeghly Center
Morgan Olson and the Penguins host Radford on Friday night at Beeghly Center
Youngstown State vs. Radford
Date & Time Friday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.
Location Beeghly Center
Tickets YSU Athletic Ticket Office | (330) 941-1YSU
Radio iHeartRadio | 570 WKBN
Video ESPN3 | (MyYTV on Delay)
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Scouting Report

  • A pair of teams that played in the postseason Women's NIT last season will square off at Beeghly Center on Friday night as Youngstown State hosts Radford at 7. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN, iHeartRadio, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
  • Youngstown State will look to improve to 3-0 for the third time in four years. The Penguins rallied from 22 points down for a 53-51 home win over Canisius last Friday in the season opener, and they pulled away in the second half at Niagara on Tuesday for a 71-54 win.
  • YSU had a nice bounce-back shooting game on Tuesday. After going 3-for-23 from 3-point range and 10-for-21 from the free-throw line vs. Canisius, the Penguins were 10-for-30 from beyond the arc and a historic 23-of-24 on free-throw attempts at Niagara.
  • Five different players have scored in double figures for YSU in the first two games of the season. Sarah Cash had 19 points in the opener, and Alison Smolinski (16), Indiya Benjamin (15), Nikki Arbanas (10) and Morgan Olson (10) all scored at least 10 at Niagara.
  • Youngstown State returns three starters and a total of eight letterwinners from last season's team that won 21 games and earned an at large berth to play in the Women's NIT.
  • YSU is hoping to continue on its impressive stretch since the start of 2012-13 that has it steadily moving toward becoming a top-level mid-major program. The Penguins have won at least 21 games in two of the last three years, and they've advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in three consecutive years.

Promotion

  • Fans in attendance will receive a schedule magnet, courtesy of WKBN 27 First News, Medical Mutual and Rulli Bros.

Today's Game

A Win Would...

  • Give YSU a 3-0 start for the third time in the last four seasons and for the second straight year.
  • Be YSU's first in Youngstown against Radford
  • Be YSU's first home victory over a team from the Commonwealth of Virginia since beating Virginia Tech in 1992. The only other team from Virginia to play at YSU is VCU (2013-14).

On This Date

  • YSU has a 3-1 record in four previous games played on Nov. 20. All three games have come since the 1998-99 season, and the most recent resulted a 67-53 victory over Northern Kentucky in 2013. That was the first win as a Penguin for head coach John Barnes.

Scouting Radford

  • Radford comes to Youngstown with a 1-1 record that includes a 66-63 overtime home victory over George Mason and a 67-52 loss at North Carolina State.
  • The Highlanders return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that finished 17-14 overall and 14-6 in the Big South Conference. Radford earned its league's automatic bid to play in the postseason Women's NIT last year. The Highlanders won 10 more games in 2014-15 than in 2013-14.
  • Radford was picked to finish third in the Big South preseason poll, and senior guard Aisha Foy was named to the preseason all-conference first team.

Radford Ties to YSU

  • Radford assistant coach Courtney Davidson served as YSU's director of operations in 2013-14, which was John Barnes' first season as YSU's head coach. Davidson, a Youngstown native, played and coached at Ursuline. Also, Radford freshman Lydia Rivers is the younger sister of YSU football star Derek Rivers.

Series with Radford

  • Youngstown State also played Radford in the third game last season and beat the Highlanders 70-44 on Nov. 22. That was the only game in history between the two schools. The win over the Highlanders was YSU's first in three tries against a team from the Big South.
  • LAST MEETING: YSU held Radford to 27.4 percent shooting and surrendered 22 points in each half in a 70-44 road win on Nov. 22, 2014. Latisha Walker had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in 16 minutes, and Indiya Benjamin had a game-high 16 points. YSU led by double digits for the final 15 minutes of the game.

Recapping Niagara

Alison Smolinski scored a game-high 16 points, and seven different Penguins scored at least six as YSU won 71-54 at Niagara on Tuesday.

Youngstown State went on a 15-3 run in the first period to take a 19-9 lead, and it led for the final 34 minutes of the game. Niagara trimmed the deficit to three on the first possession of the second half, but the Purple Eagles got no closer. YSU got the lead back to double digits with 2:31 remaining in the third period, and the difference was double digits for the final 6:53.

Smolinski made four first-half 3-pointers, and YSU finished with 10 as a team. Indiya Benjamin scored 15 points, and Nikki Arbanas and Morgan Olson finished with 10 each. YSU outscored Niagara by 17 from the free-throw line with 23 makes in 24 attempts.

Quick Notes from Niagara

  • YSU had its fourth-best night in program history at the free-throw line, making 23 of its 24 attempts for 95.8 percent. The only other times it was better was when it was 17-for-17 in 2011, 13-for-13 in 2007 and 12-for-12 in 2013.
  • Olson was 10-for-10 on her own, becoming the eighth Penguin to go at least 10-for-10 from the free throw line in a game. Previously, the last YSU player to go at least 10-for-10 was when Brandi Brown made all 12 of her attempts against UIC on March 3, 2011. Before that, no Penguin had gone at least 10-for-10 since 2002.
  • In addition to balance in the scoring column, YSU had four players – Cash (9), Arbanas (8), Jackson (8) and Olson (7) grab at least seven rebounds. The Penguins held a 48-34 edge in rebounding.
  • Smolinski made her first three attempts from 3-point range and finished 4-for-10. She was the second Penguins freshman in as many years to get hot from beyond the arc against Niagara. In 2014, Nikki Arbanas went 5-for-5 from distance.
  • Benjamin went 3-for-4 from 3-point range, and Newman added two makes in six attempts. Arbanas had YSU's other 3-pointer.
  • YSU won by at least 15 points on the road for the fifth time in the last two seasons. The Penguins had just two road wins of that margin in the previous six years and six wins of that margin in the previous decade.
  • YSU won for the third straight time in the Buffalo area and won at Niagara for the first time since 1991.
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